Ex-Sen. Nicholas Spano Reports To Federal Prison

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Former State Sen. Nicholas Spano and attorney Richard Levitt in front of U.S. Courthouse in White Plains in February. Photo Credit: Redmond Zmudzien

YONKERS, N.Y. — Nicholas Spano, the former state senator and Westchester power broker from Yonkers, reported to a federal prison in Pennsylvania Monday afternoon to begin serving his tax fraud sentence.

Spano, 59, brother of Yonkers mayor Mike Spano, will serve one year and a day at a minimum security satellite prison camp of the Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institution in Minersville.

In February, the disgraced senator pleaded guilty to charges of filing fraudulent tax returns. He admitted failing to report more than $50,000 in taxes he owed on commissions and rental income.

“Former Sen. Nicholas Spano is the latest in a regrettably long line of lawmakers turned lawbreakers," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a press release when Spano pleaded guilty. "When elected officials put padding their pockets above the law, they tarnish our government and undermine people’s faith in their public servants. We will not tolerate this conduct and will continue to aggressively prosecute those who engage in it.”

Spano was sentenced to just over a year in prison on June 18. Last week, Spano’s sentencing looked as if it might be delayed after the federal Bureau of Prisons had not designated the prison where he would serve his time.

Spano’s attorneys requested he serve his sentence at either Schuylkill or Devens, a federal prison in Massachusetts, citing a desire for him to be close to his family. 

Spano served over three decades in the state Senate, representing the 35th District, which covers Yonkers, Greenburgh and its villages, Mount Pleasant and Pleasantville. His last successful election, in 2004, dragged on for months in a bruising battle with Andrea Stewart-Cousins. When that election count was finally settled, Spano won by 18 votes. Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) defeated him in the next go-round.

Spano, who also served as chairman of the Westchester Republican Committee, is the oldest of 16 children from a large family of politicians. His father, Leonard, was the Westchester County clerk. (Former County Executive Andy Spano is not a relation.)

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